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Developers finding sweet spots in Glenview

Updated: February 27, 2013 1:34PM

When property markets recover, it’s the top tier that sees it first. So with residential and commercial demand picking up, the northern suburb of Glenview can consider itself a choice market for developers.

Chalk it up to high incomes, lots of rooftops containing them and, in a rarity for an established suburb, a supply of sizable redevelopment sites. Glenview also seems to be irresistible to the Mariano’s grocery chain, which intends to have two stores there.

Residential builders also like that whatever demands Glenview might make on a project’s design, making some of the housing “affordable” never is among them. Suburban politics has gotten more Democratic, but it’s still different from Chicago’s.

The village has three multi-use projects that have passed through its plan commission hearing stage and are ready for Village Board approval. They are:

♦A reconfigured proposal involving the old Avon Products Inc. property at the northeast corner of Golf and Waukegan roads. The plan by Focus Development and Regency Centers LP, would provide for a Mariano’s on the south end of the property with a bank and other retail uses. On the north end would be Focus’ 238 apartment units in a three-story building, although the village allows for a higher roof line to allow for decorative gables, dormers and the like. Gone is a plan for a car dealership and a layout that drove nearby subdivisions crazy with worries about hordes of shoppers on their streets.

♦GlenStar Properties LLC and Lennar Homes are working on another end of town at the old Culligan headquarters, 3800 Willow Road. The highlights are an unusually large Mariano’s, about 90,000 square feet, a four-story building with 290 apartments, an LA Fitness and other retailers.

♦Trammell Crow Co. is building 138 apartments with ground-floor retail in the village’s downtown, at 1801 Glenview Road, on land it is buying from the village.

Suburbs are sometimes hostile to rental housing, but Glenview planning director Mary Bak said two of the projects are within an easy walk of a Metra stop, lessening the traffic load, and all appeal to either younger renters or empty nesters, lessening the load on the schools. She said the deals are due for Village Board consideration in March or April.

She also said the community has another pending project. The Cleveland-area grocery chain Heinen’s, which has a store in Barrington, has signed a lease for a vacant Dominick’s at 1020 Waukegan Road.

LOOP RETAIL UPDATE: The market for downtown retail space is drum-tight, with vacancies essentially unchanged from a year ago at 7 percent and prime spots virtually gone, said a report by Baum Realty Group LLC.

Baum said it’s hard for new stores to come into the market and the number of retail lease transactions the last two years has declined. “Retailers are hindered by the fact that nearly every corner in the Loop has been absorbed over the past few years,” the report said. “Very few retailers are willing to commit to subpar locations.”

It said the average rent for street-level space downtown is $54.77 per square foot, vs. $54.10 at the end of 2011.

Baum noted that Millennium Park tourist activity has made Michigan Avenue a coveted spot for restaurant operators. Some property owners are reconfiguring their space to respond to that demand, such as Wirtz Realty Corp. with its 333 N. Michigan building.

COME ONE, COME ALL: It’s hard to believe, but this year’s Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards, the high point on the industry’s annual social calendar and a fabulous fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

There’s still time to get tickets for the March 7 event at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker. The awards dinner was started by the Sun-Times and now is sponsored by Associated Bank and Crain’s Chicago Business. The 2013 edition should raise more than $1 million to help the hungry. Details are at

DOING THE DEALS: Industrial supplier RelaDyne Inc. leased 76,000 square feet at 2250 Arthur Ave., Elk Grove Village, and expects to have 50 jobs at the location. Avison Young represented landlord Cabot Properties in the talks. … Chicago Coffees & Teas, in an expansion from operations on the northwest side, spent $1.6 million to buy a 42,000-square-foot building at 2155 S. Carpenter. NelsonHill and Domain were the brokers. Chicago Coffees specializes in sustainably grown products for restaurants and hotels. … The nonprofit Make-A-Wish Illinois expanded its space by 80 percent, to just under 11,000 square feet, at 640 N. La Salle. Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE were the brokers.

David Roeder reports on real estate at 6:22 p.m. Thursdays on WBBM-AM (780) and WBBM-FM (105.9). The reports are repeated at 10:22 p.m. Thursday and 7:22 a.m. Sunday.

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